Tapas restaurants are everywhere these days. The idea of eating a number of small dishes is so prevalent that you even see the term "tapas" being used to describe food of non-Spanish/non-European cultures: for instance, Japanese restaurant Soto has a section of their menu labelled "Japanese tapas", and Indian restaurant Arun's offers "a mouth watering tapas selection" according their website, even though the word is not used on their menu. I love tapas in any case, because you have the opportunity to sample a variety of items without feeling as though you are ordering too much.
A new tapas place opened off Dominion Road, close to Eden Park, a few weeks ago. I have been watching the space with interest for months, as a beautifully designed building was constructed in what used to be part of StereoWorld. A news article about Serafin's trouble with obtaining a liquor licence gave us a further incentive to eat at this restaurant, to show the owner some local support.
The first time we entered Serafin (presumably named after chef owner Serafin Bueno, who according to Lauraine Jacobs was "the talented Spanish chef who presided over the kitchen of The Regent Auckland hotel back in the 80s"), there were no other customers in the stylish eatery. The welcoming staff greeted us in Spanish, explained to us what tapas were, somewhat unnecessarily, and offered us drinks and pinchos, which were morsels on slices of bread. Apparently, the lack of a liquor licence has caused some customers to walk out, and we made sure we signed the petition for it (already with hundreds of names) after our meal, which turned out to be delicious. It was heartening to see the room fill up somewhat by then too.
|Waitress offering us a selection of pinchos|
|Arroz Meloso de Langostinos y Almejas, which we called the seafood paella|
|Also recommended: Bomba de Chorizo con Salsa de Mojo Verde|
|Chocolate con churros|
|Torrijas, topped with vanilla icecream|
Tapas: Bomba de Chorizo con Salsa de Mojo Verde (Potato balls with chorizo and Mojo Verde sauce, $10.00)
Mains: Arroz Meloso de Langostinos y Almejas (Spanish rice casserole with prawns and clams, feeds two people, $42.50), Doble Cocion de Pato com Lentejas y Paprika Ahumada y sus Verduritas (two ways of cooking duck confit with lentils, smoked paprika, vegetables and sherry vinegar, $21.00), Chilindron de Cordero y Judias Blancas y Cebolla Tierna (Lamb rack casserole with white beans, amontillado sherry and baby onions, $21.00)Desserts: Crema Catalana (Catalan baked custard, $9.50), Chocolate con Churros (Spanish doughnuts with chocolate sauce, $8.00), Torrijas (marinated bread in red wine, $10.00)
Limited range of main items for vegetarians here, but the desserts are divine.
[Added 17 August 2011:
The menu below is out-of-date. In their updated menu, they have added a marinated salmon dish, and offer a full drinks selection, including Sangría for $9 a glass. Prices have been revised upwards for some dishes but not for others, which is not a terrible thing as they used to be almost too cheap for the quality of food we were getting, and more people eat here now than ever before.
225B Dominion Road, Balmoral, Auckland
(09) 630 0228
Opening hours - winter (updated 29 June 2013):
Tuesdays to Thursdays 5:30 - 10pm
Fridays to Saturdays 11:30am - 3pm, 5:30 - 10pm
Sundays 11:30am - 3pm
|Serafin opens onto Walters Road, off Dominion Road, next to the Wendy's drive-thru entrance.|
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